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Beyond books — Library home to 'makerspace'

You can check out more than just books at a library in Lackawanna County.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Briana Cimino has a tough job: Getting kids and teenagers excited about the library. She's the young adult coordinator for the Scranton Public Library System.

But thanks to some fancy new toys, her job just got a whole lot easier.

"As a library, we're here to inform but also to entertain. We're here to help them build those skills, but also to get to do some fun things and experiment with their creative side, in addition to just their intellectual side."

The Albright Memorial Library in Scranton is now home to what's called a "makerspace."

You can make whatever your heart desires, using things like an embroidery machine, a laser printer, and even podcasting and video equipment. You can personalize a coffee mug or create a puzzle with your favorite photo.

The best part is it's free. A grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation made it possible.

"Not everyone can afford to get a mug press, to get a Cricut machine, and to get equipment like that. This is a place where you can use them and learn how to use them. We want to make that available to everyone," said Scot Thomas, the CEO of the Scranton Public Library.

Tina Thomas, head of circulation and "makerspace master," as her colleagues call her, had no idea how to embroider a shirt until a few months ago.

"It's really easy once you get going on it."

Picking up a novel and then a new skill — that's what it's all about.

You can book an appointment at the makerspace online. It's open during normal library hours.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.  

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